Unusual News Stories In Slow English Ep 726

A modern non-stick frying pan with lots of scrapes and flakes of toxic coatings with a warning sticker. Speak English fluently, start now.

📝 Author: Hilary

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💬 3541 words ▪️ ⏳ Reading Time 18 min

📥 Download MP3 & PDF 13.1 Mb ▪️ 👓 Read Transcript ▪️ 🎧 Listen to Lesson

Why Unusual News Stories Are Your Secret to Fluent English

Is Your Sofa Secretly Toxic? Could You Survive 217 Vaccinations? Today we delve into the world 🌍 of English with a twist! This English lesson isn't just about improving your vocabulary & comprehension; it's an adventure through unusual news stories guaranteed to captivate and teach.

Our latest lesson is your ticket to:

  • 🚀 Boosting your English fluently!
  • 📘 Expanding vocabulary with bizarre news!
  • 🗣️ Mastering conversation through real stories!

✔Lesson transcript: https://adeptenglish.com/lessons/english-phrases-learn-with-strange-real-world-news/

In the middle of difficulty lies opportunity.
⭐ Albert Einstein

Speak English like a native while exploring the weirdest corners of our world. Start your adventure now! 🌟 #LearnEnglish #AdeptEnglishPodcast

Join us in today's English lesson! You'll get a unique chance to boost your vocabulary through engaging stories. Unlike the usual news that can be downhearted, these tales are chosen to pique your curiosity and keep you entertained.

Life is a series of natural and spontaneous changes. Don't resist them; that only creates sorrow. Let reality be reality. Let things flow naturally forward in whatever way they like.
⭐ Lao Tzu

The Adept English way of learning to speak English is an exciting way to learn English, blending unusual content with language learning. Follow and subscribe to our English language podcast for more unique English lessons that make learning easy and entertaining!

More About This Lesson

Improve your vocabulary with odd news stories with an English lesson designed to help you learn to speak English fluently. Discover the power of learning through listening! Today it's unusual and fascinating stories that spark curiosity and make language learning fun.

Curiosity about life in all of its aspects, I think, is still the secret of great creative people.
⭐ Leo Burnett

Learning English can be an adventure! This lesson offers the unique opportunity to improve your English skills in a fun and engaging way. Here's what you'll gain:

  1. Boosts vocabulary with unusual news.
  2. Engages with intriguing stories.
  3. Enhances listening skills.
  4. Introduces varied topics.
  5. Explains complex concepts simply.
  6. Offers real-world examples.
  7. Encourages fluency through repetition.
  8. Provides tips for English immersion.
  9. Suggests practical English uses.
  10. Encourages active participation.
I never lose. I either win or learn.
⭐ Nelson Mandela

Here are some important takeaways from this lesson:

  1. Unique Learning Experience: Dive into strange and captivating stories that make learning memorable.
  2. Overcoming Language Learning Fears: Tackle common fears head-on with practical advice and strategies.
  3. Expanding Your Horizons: Learn about bizarre yet true events, from the world's oldest message in a bottle to the Great Emu War.

Why should you listen to this lesson? Engaging with odd news stories offers:

  • A break from the norm, making learning enjoyable and less overwhelming.
  • A way to connect with a wide range of topics, enriching your understanding of the English language and the world.
  • Practical tips to incorporate new vocabulary into your daily life, enhancing retention and comprehension.

Ready to make your English learning journey exciting and effective? Follow and subscribe for more unique English lessons that turn learning into an enjoyable and enriching experience. Let's embark on this language learning adventure together!

Frequently Asked Questions About Boosting Vocabulary with Odd News Stories

Navigating English with odd news is like a bat using echolocation to find its way in the dark—unconventional yet remarkably effective.

  1. Can unusual news stories really help me learn English better? Absolutely! Diving into unusual news stories keeps your learning journey interesting and engaging. By exposing yourself to a variety of topics and vocabularies, you'll find yourself picking up new words and phrases in no time. Plus, it's a fun way to practice listening skills!
  2. How often should I listen to these stories to improve my English fluency? Consistency is key. Aim to listen to such stories regularly, perhaps daily if possible. The more you listen, the more familiar you'll become with different accents, speeds of speech, and idiomatic expressions, boosting your understanding and fluency.
  3. Are there specific types of news stories that are more effective for learning English? Not really. While the focus here is on odd news stories, the goal is to keep your learning experience fresh and exciting. Any news story that piques your interest can be effective. It's about consistent exposure to varied English usage that helps.
  4. What should I do if I come across words or phrases I don't understand? Write them down and look them up. It's a great opportunity to expand your vocabulary. After finding out what they mean, try to use them in your own sentences. This practice helps reinforce your learning.
  5. Can I use these stories to practice English with others? Definitely! Sharing and discussing these stories with friends or fellow learners can be a fantastic way to practice speaking. You'll learn how to express your thoughts, agree or disagree politely, and ask questions—all essential skills for fluency.

Most Unusual Words:

  • Hyper-vaccination: Getting a lot of shots to prevent illness way more than usual.
  • Vaccine hesitancy: When people are unsure if they should get a vaccine because they think it might not be safe.
  • Echolocation: The ability to find out where things are by making sounds and listening to the echoes that come back.
  • Neural re-purposing: When the brain starts using parts in new ways to make up for a sense that's lost.
  • Detox: To remove bad substances from something, like your body or home.
  • Prevention: Doing things to stop something bad from happening before it starts.
  • Obsessive compulsive tendencies: When a person keeps doing something over and over, like cleaning, because they can't help it.
  • Caveat: A warning or something important to remember that might change the way you think about something.
  • Particulates: Tiny bits of stuff in the air that can be bad for your health.
  • Flame retardant: Chemicals added to things to make them less likely to catch fire.

Most Frequently Used Words:


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Transcript: Unusual News Stories In Slow English

Exploring Odd News: Expand Your English

Hi there. Today let’s go with some unusual news stories to boost your vocabulary and learn how real-world news can be strange! Three ‘odd’ news items - not mainstream news, that tends to be depressing and frustrating because as an individual you can’t do much about the wrongs in our world. But let’s look at the other side of the news, exploring stories that might not make the front page but which are sure to capture your curiosity.

From a man who took vaccination to an extreme, to the art of navigating the world in darkness, and finally, tips on detoxing your house or flat — our goal is to enhance your English listening skills while keeping you engaged, entertained even. These are the sorts of things that I get fed into my newsfeed or article feed. Articles which an app thinks will be of interest to me. And rather like the Adept English podcast, they’re certainly on varied topics. Here goes.

Hello, I’m Hilary, and you’re listening to Adept English. We will help you to speak English fluently. All you have to do is listen. So start listening now and find out how it works.

What’s too many COVID vaccines?

Story number One - the man who has had 217 COVID vaccinations. This is crazy - a man in Germany has had no fewer than 217 vaccinations against COVID. This man, a 62-year-old from a town called Magdeburg got 217 Covid-19 vaccine shots in the span of 29 months. So ‘vaccination’ - that’s when they come with a needle and stick it in your arm to prevent an illness. And that was an average of one vaccination once every four days for this man. Clearly something psychologically amiss for a person who would do that. This comes at a time when what’s called ‘vaccine hesitancy’ - meaning ‘when people hesitate to take a vaccine, because they’re not convinced it’s a good idea’ - ‘vaccine hesitancy’ is at an all-time high. What happened in this ‘one-man experiment’ is of interest.


An image of a sofa on fire with noxious fumes billowing into the air. Improve English by listening

©️ Adept English 2024

Well at least, the man didn’t get COVID - but it’s not clear that this couldn’t have been achieved with the normal number of doses. And sometimes COVID passes as a simple cold - as happened to me last December. I didn’t realise I had COVID - for the first time - until a family member caught my cold and tested positive. The man also doesn’t appear to have experienced any ‘vaccine harm’. In total, he got eight different vaccines, including mRNA vaccines from Pfizer/BioNTech and Moderna, the Johnson & Johnson vaccine and the vaccine from Sanofi.

‘The observation that no noticeable side effects were triggered in spite of this extraordinary hyper-vaccination indicates that the drugs have a good degree of tolerability’ a researcher commented. However, in the UK at least, there is some unease about long-term side effects of the vaccinations and the UK government refuses to investigate. I think if there was another pandemic - heaven forbid - it would be perhaps more difficult to persuade people to get vaccinations.

Can humans really navigate like bats?

Second news article. Humans can develop ‘echolocation’! That’s ECHOLOCATION. This is the ability to ‘see’ with sound, navigating obstacles and identifying objects without relying on sight. Bats, BATS are animals with wings and that can fly - but they’re not birds. Bats hang upside down in caves and in people’s attics. They’re a protected animal in the UK. ‘Echolocation’? Well, the word ‘echo’, ECHO is a noun - and it’s a sound comes back at you, so that you hear it twice. Sounds ‘bounce off’ objects - and therefore ‘echolocation’ is what bats use to navigate around. We have a saying in English, ‘blind as a bat’, so reputedly bats cannot see to move around. Sound is what they use instead. And this is not normally the way we as human beings move around, find our way - or ‘navigate’ as we say. The verb ‘to navigate’, NAVIGATE used to be used largely for ships. But now we have ‘SatNavs’ and the verb ‘to navigate’ is used for all kinds of situations - even things like buying a new kitchen for instance. You ‘navigate’.

The human brain ‘re-purposes’

So why are we being told that ‘echolocation is something that human beings can learn’? Well, an article published in ‘Popular Mechanics’ recently cited - or ‘quoted’ - research done in Japan by someone called Miwa Sumiya. It’s well-known that people who are blind, people who can’t see do develop some sense of space around them, using sounds. They learn through sound which part of a well-known room they are in, for example. This is called ‘neural re-purposing’. ‘Neural’ means ‘of the brain’ - that’s NEURAL. And if you ‘re-purpose something’, you ‘use it for a different purpose’. So here it means that if you lose one of your senses, your brain can ‘re-purpose’ and adapt to use other senses to compensate, to ‘make up for’ what’s lost.

So blind people learn to navigate around by listening to the sound of clicks they make with their mouths. A click? (Click) Sounds like that. The visual part of the brain adapts to use sound rather than images. Clearly if you cannot see, the situation is more extreme, so the brain understandably adapts to make the most of the senses which are available. But this research was interesting because it tested whether people with sight could be made or induced to use echolocation. The research found that with some ‘brain training’, people with sight could be trained to recognise sounds and this could stand in for visual information. The people taking part in the research, the ‘participants’ if you like - were able to tell by echolocation whether an object was moving or not. A small piece of evidence maybe, but it shows that bigger adaptations of the brain are be possible. So we can train our brain to work more like a bat’s!

Fancy some more great English language learning material?

Before I get onto the third article - if you’re enjoying the variety of topics in this English language podcast, then consider buying one of our podcast bundles. For a very small price, you can buy 50 Adept English podcasts to download and listen to whenever you like, whether you’ve got internet or not. Just imagine what that amount of listening will do for your understanding of everyday English. Head to our “Courses’ page at adeptenglish.com.

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Can we be too clean for our own good?

The third article I read was called ‘Fifteen Ways to Detox Every Room in Your Home’ and this was published on a site called ‘Prevention’ PREVENTION. ‘To detox’ means ‘to take out the toxic stuff, to take out the toxins’. And ‘prevention’? Usually means ‘getting in the way of something bad, stopping the bad thing happening’. I find myself slightly reactive to this - here’s a website devoted to telling people how to ‘prevent disease and ill health’ by buying certain products and avoiding others. It also advises on ‘how to be tidy and organised’. The trouble with it? I can imagine that this sort of website is very rewarding for people with OCD - obsessive compulsive tendencies around ‘being clean’, ‘being tidy’ and ‘avoiding toxins’. I’m not suggesting that all of the people who subscribe and read this material have OCD, but reading it could make you more paranoid about these things. I also think that this type of website is possibly for people who don’t have bigger concerns in life to worry about! So with those ‘caveats’ in mind - that’s CAVEAT and that’s a word from Latin meaning ‘a warning - something to think about, which limits what I’m about to say’ - with those ‘caveats’, what sorts of actions are recommended in this list of ‘15 Ways to Detox Every Room in Your Home’?

Is the air in your kitchen as clean as you think?

Well, the article talks about research by the Silent Spring organisation, who look at what chemicals in our everyday environment may cause problems in our bodies, could lead to things like breast cancer and other diseases. So I guess that makes it a bit more serious. And the advice is things like - if you’re cooking in your kitchen and you use a gas hob, then always use your extractor fan. Your ‘hob’, HOB is where you use your pans and you cook things. And the ‘extractor fan’, FAN - that’s the device which sits above your cooker and your hob and removes steam and cooking fumes from the air. So the information here is that if you cook with gas, there will be nitrogen dioxide and particulates - a bit like those from diesel cars - in the air, in your kitchen. So it’s best to use an extractor fan. If that’s true - I didn’t know that. And the article warns against pans, which have black, ‘non-stick’ coatings like Teflon. Apparently cooking at high temperatures with these types of pans can release nasty chemicals into your food. And if the ‘non-stick’ coating on your pans is damaged, time to throw them away.

Can you trust the water in your tap?

Other warnings from this article - don’t assume that your drinking water is safe! The article says ‘get it tested’. I’m not even sure how you would do that in the UK - this article comes from the US. But the article recommends using a water filter - that’s FILTER if you’re going to drink tap water. Bottled water is expensive and also creates the problem of micro-plastics, so this may be good advice.

Your News In Slow English Biden Pakistan Japan

The article also advises taking off shoes you’ve worn outside, when you come into the house - there may be dirt, pollen, pesticides. Depends where you’ve walked, I guess. For me, this moves into the territory of being a little bit too fussy. We need a certain amount of bacteria in our lives to function - I don’t want to live in a ‘bio-secure’ house! That’s me the gardener speaking - who enjoys getting dirt under her fingernails and thinks it’s natural to do so! To see the outside world as though it’s just ‘dirty and contaminated’, isn’t healthy, I don’t think!

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Should we be scared of our sofas?!

More valid seeming advice - worry about your furniture. ‘Furniture’, FURNITURE means the larger items in your house. Beds, mattresses, sofas, tables and chairs. In the UK, before 2015 many pieces of soft furniture were treated with ‘flame retardant’ chemicals - so chemicals which made the possibility of fire less likely. If your sofa caught fire, the flame retardant chemicals would reduce the risk. Like many of these measures designed to keep us safe, it’s now thought that this causes a bigger threat. Flame retardant chemicals are found to ‘affect the function of our immune system’ and to be toxic to the human body. Uch - that’s a problem then! So fair enough - maybe we need to worry about our sofas and mattresses.

So that’s a little taste today of the sorts of articles which I find in my online news feed. Things which some algorithm somewhere thinks I’ll be interested in reading. What’s in your news feed - and does it reflect your particular interests? Let us know.


Don’t forget to listen a number of times to practise your English.

Enough for now. Have a lovely day. Speak to you again soon. Goodbye.

Thank you so much for listening. Please help me tell others about this podcast by reviewing or rating it. And, please share it on social media. You can find more listening lessons and a free English course at adeptenglish.com




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